I have just returned from my holiday in Hokkaido and Tokyo; you'd think that I would like a change from Japanese cuisine... definitely not. Japanese is the one cuisine that I don't think that I can ever get tired of. What I love about good Japanese food is it's focus on freshness, seasonality and simplicity; qualities which are clearly on display at Minus 8.
Minus 8 is a pop up restaurant that hosts underground dinners several times a month, serving contemporary Japanese cuisine using local ingredients to 12 lucky diners each night. The man behind Minus 8 is private chef Anton Verplak, a horticulturist turned chef who has worked at a number of Japanese restaurants around the world including the Michelin-starred Nobu in London.
|Chef and host Anton Verplak|
To go to one of these events, you need to get invited. This means you need to join Minus 8's mailing list to get updates on when the next series of dinners will be held. And you need to be quick as spots are filled up on a first- come-first-served basis. I dined at Minus 8 with Crystal (from Delectably Degusting and cc_crystal on Instagram) and her 2 friends. Crystal proved that, in the 21st century, Instagram is an effective (and sometimes hilarious) way to organise gatherings!
|Rice crisps with wasabi salt|
|A gathering of raw winter Japanese mustard greens harvested early this morning with salt konbu, shoyu mayonnaise and Katsuobushi|
|Namasu of raw alfonsino, mizuna stems and kumquat ponzu|
|Kansai style white tempura of Spencer Gulf Prawn with Moshio hand crafted sea salt|
After the body, we were served the prawns legs, which were delightfully crispy and flavoursome. I would have loved to have had the head too, complete with its brains, the tastiest part of prawns.
|Steamed dashi custard, Otway shiitake, enoki, wild Japanese parsley, sato imo, dried pine mushroom|
|Spoonful of eggy goodness!|
|Freshly dug potato cooked in its earth then grilled over burning holm oak charcoal with hand churned butter and charcoal salt flakes|
|Burrawong chicken marlyland grilled over holm oak charcoal with salted yuzu pepper|
|Kagoshima style braised pork belly, dashi hens egg, shungiku and Karashi mustard|
|Bowl of rice|
|Cross section of the dashi egg: mmmm... gooey yolk|
|Lightly toasted mochi mochi bread, sugar preserved chestnut, milk sorbet|
Highlight: The grilled chicken with yuzu pepper. And the chawanmushi.
Lowlight: Spaces are limited so make sure you join the mailing list and keep an eye out on your emails so you don't miss out.
Overall: I might be a bit late on the Sydney underground dining scene but I think it's time for me to discover more of it based on this experience. Minus 8 is a wonderful underground diner serving exciting contemporary Japanese cuisine. 7.5/10 (Great)
Contact no: 0416 884 648